Hamish MacBean

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Hamish is rated as one of the leading Juniors on the Western Circuit by the Legal 500, known for his incisive cross-examinations and his ability to cut to the heart of a dispute.

He has a vast range of experience garnered over almost 15 years at the Bar. Today his practice covers civil and commercial contract disputes, property issues and construction cases, and he is regularly instructed by a local authority and a number of large national firms of solicitors.

Having spent more than eight years as in-house Counsel at a major national firm of solicitors before moving to Queen Square Chambers in 2011, Hamish appreciates the pressures and concerns experienced by instructing solicitors. Indeed, he has been commended for making a very stressful experience as comfortable as it could be.

In addition to his Court and advisory work, Hamish is much in demand for his seminars. They are always well received and described as being practical and accessible, using a light touch to convey often complex legal analysis.

‘Your demolition of the other side’s expert and case was a joy to watch’ – Mr M (a client)

‘His practice includes civil and commercial contract disputes.’ – Legal 500 2017

‘Vastly experienced in consumer and commercial contract disputes.’ – Legal 500

Notable cases

Cocking v Waring [2016] 3 WLR 125 – The Claimant alleged that their neighbour (D1) had caused a nuisance by allowing her dog to bark incessantly. Hamish represented D2 who allowed D1 (her daughter) to live at the property rent free. At trial the Judge found there was a nuisance caused by the dog. He found D2 liable for failing to stop it. The appeal considered the issue of the liability in nuisance for a bare licensor who failed to take steps to abate a nuisance caused by her licensee. The licensor had no direct knowledge of the nuisance complained of. It is a case with important ramifications for anyone who permits another to occupy their property rent free. They are likely to be liable for continuing acts of nuisance.

B v HL – Represented the Claimant care worker in a case during which she alleged that a reference provided by a former employer was not fair, true or accurate. There were considerable difficulties caused by the fact that she had resigned during the course of an investigation. However, at trial the Judge accepted on the evidence that the Defendant had not properly intimated an investigation into the Claimant’s conduct or honesty, nor had the Claimant resigned as a result of that investigation. Judgment was entered for the Claimant, with a finding that the reference was negligent.

I Ltd v S Ltd – Represented the Claimant in an action to recover unpaid commission arising out of various financial transactions. The Claimant had provided leads to the Defendant in respect of customers seeking financial advice. It became apparent that the Defendant had not been properly reimbursing the Claimant in line with the service agreement between the parties. The significant difficulty which the Claimant faced was that the information required to analyse the quantum of the claim was entirely within the possession of the Defendant. Following a number of disclosure requests, an on-site meeting and a protracted mediation, the case ultimately settled with a significant payment in the Claimant’s favour.

P v S – Represented four Defendants in a multi-party dispute between neighbours involving rights of access and rights to park over a shared courtyard fronting the parties’ respective houses. There were significant differences in the parties’ accounts of matters going back a number of years. There were a number of competing analyses of the title documents. Ultimately, the case proceeded to an on-site mediation which led to a successful resolution of the issues between the parties, enabling the neighbours to continue to live alongside each other.

Re BVS – Represented a local authority in a case involving a long commercial lease with a 10-year break clause. There was a significant dispute between the parties as to the meaning and interpretation of the clause which had been drafted in an ambiguous manner. There was also a dispute surrounding a rent review provision which had not been invoked and the impact of this on the implementation of the break clause, given that a failure to pay rent in full would almost certainly have invalidated the break clause.

‘Highly experienced in commercial and civil contract disputes.’ - Legal 500 2018 Contact Us

Latest News

  • Commercial - 27, February
    credit cards

    Covered by a Card

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    Posted by Hamish MacBean

    Hamish MacBean considers a recent decision as to the extent of the protection afforded under s. 75 Consumer Credit Act when there is an additional party involved in the transaction. The protection afforded to consumers paying for goods and services is now well known and many consumers are using credit card payments as a form … Continue reading Covered by a Card

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  • Commercial - 6, February

    It takes two to Tango – Global v Aabar

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    Posted by Hamish MacBean

    Hamish MacBean considers the recent Court of Appeal decision in Global v Aabar on whether parties to a commercial contract had in fact agreed terms. A recent Court of Appeal decision provides a useful reminder to both litigators and advisors of the points to consider when determining whether parties have concluded a contract. In Global … Continue reading It takes two to Tango – Global v Aabar

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  • Commercial - 25, August

    Anti Oral Variation Clauses

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    Posted by Hamish MacBean

    The Court of Appeal has recently injected some welcome clarity into a hitherto divided area of law. The question of whether variations to a contract may be concluded orally notwithstanding a contractual term to the contrary is one which has long been a source of dispute. A good measure of the difficulty arose from two … Continue reading Anti Oral Variation Clauses

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